Delegates at Rethinking the Urban Forest take a break outside the Gumbramorra Hall at Addison Road Community Centre. Photo: Bruce Knobloch.


“Our cities are modified ecosystems. They’re fundamentally changed and changing on a day-to-day basis. Every day we are growing. In essence that just means we are clearing more land.”

So says Dr Peter Davies, Head of the Department of Environmental Sciences and an Executive Member of Macquarie University’s Smart Green Cities Research Centre.

In his address to the ‘Rethinking the Urban Forest’ conference at Addison Road Community Centre lats Friday (May 24th 2019), Dr Davies examined “the fragile premises” behind urban planning and what limited environmental thinking is present, which “really means we’re just losing habitat and green spaces at a slower rate. But we are still losing it.”

According to Dr Davies, a big problem lies in “planning focussed on development as an asset, but very little thinking that is strategic. We’re not being very clever”.

Dr Davies gave this example. “An architect might have a vision. Look at my wonderful green vision. They get permissions from councils and other bodies. Along the way to it being developed the money runs out. And suddenly the green bits fall off first. Eventually you have a non-green landscape. The notion of amenity has gone.”

City Hub reports on the ‘Rethinking the Urban Forest’ conference here.